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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 55
A
AZSam Offline OP
Member
This is what hurts legitimate contractors.
My neighbor contracted to have an in-ground swimming pool installed. As he is out of town quite a bit for his company, I looked in on things for him. The electrical installation has numerous code violations, PVC on top of the ground with dirt brushed over it, 6-90’s in 110V run to JB @ pool, 3 power raceways (PVC) buried about 1 inch, sealtite about 12 feet long from panel to motor partially buried about ½ to 1 inch in walk area, no support on PVC from panel to earth, 1 support on sealtite about 2-1/2 feet from panel, sealtite from JB to AC unit stretched tight with ty-raps supporting refrigeration line from sealtite.
(The AC was moved to accommodate the pool pump/filter assembly). Those are the basic items and there are several more.
I photographed everything possible and hand-delivered prints to the county zoning and building. An AHJ came out, verified the violations and said he would contact the pool builder. The conversation with the AHJ was enlightening. This pool builder has a rep for this type of work. The AHJ informed me that due to the way the computers are set up at county the pool builder never calls for an inspection and there is no automatic flagging of unclosed permits. After one year the permit automatically is deleted from the system whether inspection has been performed or not performed.
Major problem---IL has no state licensing for electrical or general contractors. Some cities and counties have their own licensing requirements but St. Clair County is not one of them. When is someone going to die because of this type of cheating?
I checked with the building dept on 09/05/2008 and an inspection had never been requested although the pool has been completed for over a month and is used often. BTW, I’m pushing with the building dept and the council to get something done as the current installation is hazardous.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,662
Likes: 4
G
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That is a problem in a lot of places that used to depend on unions to police the trades. You guys need a good licensing program. Swimming pools are particularly bad places to have shoddy work. I wonder if all the bonding was checked. That is far more important than burial depth and supporting. Although not electrical, you should also verify the suction side venting. Be sure you can't have a person trapped on a drain cover.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
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There are two problems that need addressing.

The first is ... as is common ... the shoddy work was done by another trade, not an electrician. A well-meaning, self-taught guy perhaps ... but his lack of training really shows.

The second is, quite simply, that the government agencies are clearly not doing their jobs. A guy pulls a permit, and no one ever checks the work? Well, are they going to have a code, or not? The inspector went to the job, saw the violations ... but that wasn't an inspection? The contractor is "known" for shoddy work - and he's not flagged for closer supervision?


Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 811
Member
Originally Posted by renosteinke
The first is ... as is common ... the shoddy work was done by another trade, not an electrician. A well-meaning, self-taught guy perhaps ... but his lack of training really shows.


Sounds like my school, the HVAC/R, GC, welding and (gasp) plumbing and carpentry shops teach limited electrical. Compare their work to our shop's though, and the difference is obvious. Principal keeps telling everyone (besides HVAC/R and GC/Building Trades) to stop doing electrical, but that never works.

This sounds like PA, and Falls Township where I live. No state licensing, and permits get deleted every six months if there's no activity on them. The only things they send a letter out for is fireplaces and additions. It's all up to the neighbors to report everything else, and that never happens.

Ian A.

Last edited by Theelectrikid; 09/08/08 03:56 PM. Reason: Add first bit

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
S
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It's important for all the trades to understand the others, so that you can look out for each other and think proactively on the jobsite and anticipate interferences. But also to respect that you're not going to do as good a job at it as someone who does it day-in/day-out.

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6
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New Member
Without a doubt this pool company supplied the lowest bid. Probably a very low bid. I don't understand what the problem is here. The customer wanted a low end crap job and got just that.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
M
Member
Originally Posted by Skyline_Electric
Without a doubt this pool company supplied the lowest bid. Probably a very low bid. I don't understand what the problem is here. The customer wanted a low end crap job and got just that.


Way too much truth to this statement. One of the reasons I usually avoid pools is having to take so much of my time in explaining to customer's and other trades why I am so particular about getting every detail done properly to code. Try explaining the necessity of equalpotential bonding to the customers and watch their eyes glaze over. Gets even worse when you try that with the dopey pool contractor. They think we just hold up the process so they would rather just try to wire the pool themselves.

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,279
Likes: 3
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AS an AHJ, I'm slightly confused. The 'county' deletes permits after 1 year with or without activity? Even if a job fails? Or, if no inspections were requested. What about other trades? Building, Plumbing?

Sounds sorta like a cash cow; fees paid & hope no 'calls'!

As to the comments from SamAz, sounds like you did the right thing, but what recourse does the homeowner/victim have. Dept of Consumer Affairs??

Some people think that inspectors are 'enemies' or PITA's here, but code compliance protects everyone; both EC's and consumers.

And, yes it is usually the 'headlights in eyes' look when I attempt to explain '05 680.26 eq pot ground requirements to HO's and yes, to some EC's. Gets even more chalenging with artificial bodies of water (retention basins, etc)

'nuff said.


John
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 55
A
AZSam Offline OP
Member
A bit of pressure sometimes pays off. Photos, letters, meeting with those who were scr___d by the pool builder has resulted in action. The pool builder is revamping several installations to comply with the code. One owner said no to re-work, I'm going to sue the b__tard. She's got the money to do it.
Occoasionally, you just have to get involved.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
T
Member
I'm in IL & see handyman/homeowner work almost every day. As much as I'd like to spend a few hours every day as a volunteer inspection/police officer, I let it go unless it's extreme.

I had one that I called the utility & AHJ. A HO had "upgraded" from 100A to 200A. They didn't change the feeder wiring & filled the panel with single-pole 30s on 14 & 12 ga wire. They also left the cover off the very low panel with a few very small kids running around. Looked like a death-trap to me.


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